Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Do you ever have any smells you associate with other places or things?

Yesterday I was shopping, and I walked into a hallway to go to the bathrooms and was hit with a smell that took me back 27+ years.

To Nanny Dixon's house. Nanny Dixon was my across the street neighbor. She wasn't my nanny or my Nanny. Her name was Nanny and she had kind of adopted my momma when she and daddy moved into the house on Hollow Log Lane.

Nanny was married to Dick. They were older. They were like grandparent ages when I was 5. Nanny was very opinionated, but caring. She loved to tell my mom how to do things. I'm sure she could be annoying. However, my mom liked her and respected her and she loved me!

When my mom was busy or needed five-ten alone, I got to go to Nanny's house. I remember the basement of that house the best.

The smell from the hallway reminded me of this basement in an instant. The basement was not used to park their car(s). Nanny and Dick had transformed their basement into a workroom for him, and a "beauty parlor" slash crafting room for her.

They were devout Christians, and one thing I remember about "his side" of the basement was the black curtain with a picture of Jesus on it that led to his work room. Kinda freaky, but it was his area. He would let me go back there and look at all of the tools. Dick was VERY quiet and VERY tall.

On "her side," Nanny had a kitchen area with a sink and tons of drawers for all of her hobbies. I remember Nanny went through a series of poodles. Maybe it was just one or two. But, she bathed them in her beauty area. I guess she was an early self groomer. :D Also, Nanny had an old Singer sewing machine table with lots of drawers, and in the drawers were TONS of buttons. I used to go through those buttons for hours-sorting, counting, organizing, playing. Sooo many memories.

Nanny would discipline me if I did wrong. Nanny and Dick were like my grandparents that lived across the street. When I was about 5 or 6, we moved about 3 miles down the road. We still got to see Nanny, although not as often.

After that, Nanny and Dick moved out to Centerpoint, about 30 minutes from us, to be by their kids. We went out their a few times and went swimming with Nanny's grandkids and played. I believe I recall a Ronnie Susanne, right mom?? :)

Dick died of a heart attack about 20 years ago, and I'm sure Nanny is dead by now. Mom would know.

But in that instant of walking down the hall, that smell sent me right back to Nanny and Dick's house on Hollow Log Lane, circa 1983. Sweet Nanny and Dick.

Do you ever associate certain smells with times in your life?


  1. 100%! YES! I will always think of Emily when i smell aqua de gio. I can also still smell my babysitters house from my childhood. my Nonie's house.. my aunts truck when I was little.. lots of smells/memories! Now that I think of it, I dont think I have ever known you to wear perfume! So I dont have a Sus smell!

  2. Susannah, you have just taken me back 25 years!!
    I am pretty sure that Nanny is still alive. You need to call her next time you are in B'ham.
    OMG, they did have a poodle named "Buttons" and Nanny had tons and tons of buttons in her sewing machine drawers. And yes, her granddaughter was named Ronnie Suzanne!!

  3. What precious memories! Yes, smells take me back, too. I made chex mix a few weeks ago - I dug around for a recipe with ingredients similar to what I remember my grandmother's chex mix containing, and about fifteen minutes into the baking process, I was back in her kitchen as a little girl, sipping on a "coke-cola" as she called it. When all was said and done, I felt like I'd spent the day with my grandmother in her kitchen.

  4. All the time!!! This is a great post!

  5. Smells, songs, and other sounds will often take me back in time to another place. Loved this post, thanks for sharing. It's nice that you can't remember things like this, but then one sniff brings back a flood of memories that you didn't even remember you forgot.

  6. What a fun post! Every time I smell dove bar soap, it reminds me of my grandma. Sometimes I buy it just to remember her better. For a while after she died, I would smell it all the time even though there wasn't any around.

  7. aww, that is so sweet that you remember nanny like that! I definitely have smells that bring me back! I was at Toys R Us and saw mini cabbage patch dolls and the plastic smell of them always brings me back!


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